Tacoma, WA Brain Injury Lawyers
Brain and head injuries—along with spinal cord injuries—are among the most serious, life-threatening, and life-altering injuries. A severe brain injury can result in a coma or could leave the victim unable to perform the most basic tasks—therefore, unable to care for themselves. Even relatively minor brain injuries can cause significant changes in the victim’s personality, as well as chronic pain. Brain injuries can change the very core of who a person is, changing the way the person thinks, feels, acts, and even the way he or she moves.
Depending on which lobe of the brain is most affected, the following functions can be altered: the ability to understand language, the ability to communicate, the level of motor skills, visual perception, inhibition of behaviors, the ability to solve problems, plan and anticipate and spatial perception. Memory loss is common as are irritability, depression, anxiety, and the inability to concentrate. The medical expenses for someone who has suffered a head and brain injury can reach into the millions and, depending on the level of damage, the victim’s life may be changed forever. There are many causes of brain damage and brain trauma; no matter the cause, the victim deserves an advocate in their corner who will fight for their future.
Brain Damage Sustained in an Accident
Traumaticbraininjury.com reports more than half of all traumatic brain injuries are the result of an automobile accident. The brain is very susceptible during an auto accident to any force which penetrates or fractures the skull. The skull can strike the steering wheel or windshield or can be violently thrown forward then backward, causing the brain to slam into the hard bones of the skull. There may or may not be an open wound to the skull from a car accident for a traumatic brain injury to occur.
The CDC found that falls also account for a significant amount of brain trauma sustained in accidents. These falls may include a fall from bed, slipping in the shower or bathtub, falling down the stairs, falling from a ladder, falling from scaffolding, or falling while engaged in a recreational activity. Children, the elderly, and those in the construction industry tend to be the most likely to suffer a serious fall, which results in brain injury. Assaults and violence account for a smaller number of brain injuries and can include gunshot wounds, domestic violence, or child abuse, including shaken baby syndrome. Other accidents which can lead to traumatic brain injury include:
- Explosions—common in active-duty military personnel. Many believe the pressure wave passing through the brain is responsible for the disruption in brain function. Penetrating wounds, blows to the head from shrapnel or debris, and falls after a blast can all lead to a traumatic brain injury.
- Sports Injuries—Traumatic brain injuries are common among boxers and football players as well as those who engage in soccer, baseball, hockey, skateboarding, snow skiing, and another other potentially extreme or high-impact sport.
- Accidents caused by a defective product, and
- Construction accidents.
Brain Damage Caused by Medical Malpractice
Brain damage or brain trauma can be due to medical negligence in hospitals or in a doctor’s office. When medical professionals act in a negligent manner, or any manner which is inconsistent with accepted standards of practice, they should be held accountable for resulting brain injuries. One of the most common types of brain damage due to medical malpractice is a birth injury when the newborn is deprived of oxygen to their brain. Other examples of medical malpractice which result in brain trauma include improper use of anesthesia, over-medication, surgical infection, a brain tumor which goes undiagnosed, or a botched brain tumor surgery.
Other Facts Related to Traumatic Brain Injury
The CDC offers the following facts related to brain injuries:
- In 2014, an average of 155 people in the United States died each day from a brain injury;
- Those who survive a brain injury can face symptoms associated with the injury which last days, months, years—or the remainder of their life;
- The effects of a brain injury can be physical, cognitive, emotional, or a combination of the three;
- A mild concussion could cause only a brief change in mental status or consciousness, while a serious brain injury could cause an extended period of unconsciousness and severe memory loss;
- More than one in four brain-injury-related Emergency Room visits in children under the age of 17 are related to being struck by, or against, an object, and
- Falls are the leading cause of brain injury hospitalization rates for those 65 years and older.
The Financial Impact of a Brain Injury
A severe traumatic brain injury can result in staggering medical expenses, as the person who suffers such an injury could require a lifetime of assistance, including speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, long-term medical care, other types of rehabilitation, residential care, supportive care, long-term medications, alterations to his or her home, and assistive technologies. The person with a brain injury could suffer a loss of earnings for a short period of time, or for many years. This can leave families wondering how to cope with medical expenses, as well as normal monthly expenses.
Brainandspinalcord.org found that the cost of a brain injury can vary from $85,000 for a mild head injury to $941,000 for a moderate head injury, and $3 million for a severe head injury. The costs associated with brain injuries in the United States is between $9 and $10 billion a year. This number does not include the indirect costs to society and families, such as lost wages, lost work, lost productivity, and the costs associated with social services. All in all, the average lifetime costs of caring for a survivor of a severe brain injury are between $600,000 and $1,875,000—although these costs vary widely depending on the type and severity of the brain injury, as well as where the victim lives.
How Palace Law Can Help Those with Brain Injuries
Contacting an experienced Washington attorney is crucial following a brain injury. If your brain injury was the result of negligence on the part of another person, we will fight for the compensation you deserve. At Palace Law, we take a personal interest in every client who walks through our door. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of collective legal experience, and we use that experience to your advantage. We will assess your brain injury, offering a comprehensive evaluation of your potential claim. We are compassionate to your situation and will help ensure you receive appropriate medical treatment. Contact Palace Law today for knowledgeable legal representation following your brain injury.